This dish is never better than when you make it with summer corn -- the freshest and sweetest ears you can find.
What you'll need
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
- 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 pound potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and diced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 8 ears)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- Salt and pepper
- Sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Choose ears of corn with bright green husks that are tightly closed. The ends of the corn silk should be golden brown, not pale -- an indication that the corn was picked too early.
- To easily remove corn silk from the kernels, hold the ear in one hand and rub downward with a wet paper towel.
- To remove corn kernels for a salad or salsa, stand an uncooked ear in a shallow bowl and use a sharp, thin-bladed knife. For chowder, add another step: reverse the knife and run the dull side down the ear to press out the rest of the corn and its milk.
How to make it
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the green onions, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes, 2 cups of the corn, the bay leaf, and the broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and keep it at a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Puree the remaining 2 cups of corn and the milk in a blender or food processor, then stir it into the soup. Simmer the soup until it thickens slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and add salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.